With their completed banner in hand, the eleven women marched from their conference room in Bolton, through the Union, to the bridge over Maryland Avenue, all the while chanting, “Women for peace! Women for power!”
Along the way, the marchers grabbed the attention of many others and did their best to recruit and educate them. They wished any female who was looking their way a happy women’s day while continuing to display their banner with pride.
March 8 was more than just another Thursday; it was International Women’s Day.
The UW-Milwaukee’s Women’s Resource Center held a workshop followed by participation in a national march to the bridge to take a stand for peace and equality.
The day aims to celebrate women, their roles in life, especially concerning their relationship to each other and children, and to promote unity.
Project Assistant, Monique Liston, said the goal of the UWM Women’s Resource Center was to advertise this event to more people not just for participation’s sake, but to educate people.
“Many people may have heard of this event but don’t understand it conceptually,” Liston said.” “We want to tie loose ends and tell people why we march. That’s why we made sure this was publicized nationally.”
UW-Milwaukee has been participating in this march as part of the Join Me on the Bridge campaign since 2010 when Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education, Dr. Debora Wisneski, invited a few friends.
“I just sent out some emails to friends and people in the school of education and a few people showed up,” Wisneski said.
From there, the event has grown and was included as a part of the Women and Activism Workshop series entitled, Heroines and Hellions. Wisneski said she is honored to be a part of something that allows her professional and personal lives to collide.
While growing up in the south, Wisneski remembers how often her dad would be teased for being the only man in a house full of women.
“I received the message young that being a girl wasn’t good enough,” Wisneski said. “But I feel there can never be peace in the world until women are involved.”
So she got involved by joining the Women 4 Women organization.
“Part of the money I make supports war which bothers me ethically,” Wisneski said. “So by sponsoring a sister through Women 4 Women, I can help another sister become educated, and I can connect with other women and help children.”
This cause has also helped UW-Milwaukee students like Tiffany Strong, who knows she wouldn’t be who she is today without this inspiration.
“I’ve gone through traumatic events in my life and if not for my sisters and remembering the women that fought for us, I wouldn’t have made it through those obstacles,” Strong said.
Forty-five minutes of the workshop was devoted to decorating the banner which was displayed during the march to the bridge. The women came together with the intent to paint a very colorful and encouraging banner filled with personal messages and images.
“Seeing people come together like this gives me hope for our future,” Strong said.
Wisneski is excited to be a part of something so near and dear to her heart and plans to continue her women’s activism, whatever it takes.
“There’s a saying that, ‘well behaved women rarely make history’ and I think the title of this workshop series, Heroines and Hellions, is so fitting,” Wisneski said.
Then she added:
“Which one are you?”
More information on how to participate in any women’s activism can be found on the Women’s Resource Center website.